I-TEAM: Seminole Tribe suing Jacksonville-area internet cafes

Tribe says it has exclusive rights to casino-style gambling

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Seminole Tribe of Florida is now trying to do what city and state officials have not been able to do for years -- shut down internet cafes. 

The Tribe has filed a lawsuit against numerous internet cafes in Jacksonville.    

The seven-page lawsuit says the dozens of internet cafes around the Jacksonville area violate the Seminole Tribe's exclusive compact with the state of Florida to operate casino-style gambling on its reservations. The Tribe says it pays the state millions of dollars a month in revenues, totaling more than $1 billion so far.

COURT DOCUMENT: Seminole Tribe lawsuit

The Tribe is asking a judge to issue an injunction shutting down the cafes and force the owners to pay attorney fees.

News4Jax has been looking at the rise of internet cafes in Jacksonville. The I-TEAM has uncovered there are more than 126 of them in the city. According to records, some have permits but most do not. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office previously said it is aware of the operations, but can’t comment because it's an ongoing investigation. The state attorney's office has not commented. The Florida Attorney General’s Office said the cafes are no longer in its jurisdiction because it's considered a local issue. 

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